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What is hypnosis?

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Introduction

´╗┐Page No. What is Hypnosis? The earliest known description of hypnosis dates back more than 6000 years ago to rites performed in Egyptian sleep temples. The Indus Vedas knowledge sacred book written around 1500 BC, mentions the use of hypnotic techniques and procedures in detail yet in 2012 we still find it difficult to answer the question "what is hypnosis?". 'All sciences alike have descended from magic and superstition, but none have been so slow as hypnosis in shaking off the association of its origin'. (Clark Hull, Hypnosis and suggestibility, 1984). The grandfather of hypnosism is regarded to be Franz Anton Mesmer who achieved some very amazing cures. He was, however, prone to be a bit theatrical wearing long flowing robes and brandishing a wand to complete his wizard image. Treatments and cures were conducted in large arenas with many onlookers. The film Svengali, although pure fiction did a lot to discredit hypnosis for many years by portraying hypnotists as evil predators and also inspired the emerging stage hypnotists. Even today stage hypnotists continue to discredit hypnotism making it hard to be taken seriously as an emerging science. ...read more.

Middle

(Robin Waterfield, Hidden Depths, 2004) Since the invention of the electroencephalogram in 1929 we have been able to measure the electrical activity of the brain. Scientists have determined that there are four main brain waves which vary in frequency. 1. Beta waves (15 to 40 cycles per second). These are typical of a focused and engaged mind. These are found in abundance in our modern, busy life style. 2. Alpha waves (9 to 14 cycles per second). These are typical of taking a rest after an activity. They are present during times of creativity and problem solving but not during times of fear, anger, in a deep sleep or highly aroused. 3. Theta waves (4 to 8 cycles per second). These are present during sleeping and some meditative states.. These are associated with (amongst other things) medium to deep hypnosis. These waves are associated with our subconscious mind. You may be in the theta range when daydreaming or driving a car. It is where we engage with our intuition learning and creativity. It is where we have our best ideas. You may recall having moments such as these on a car journey or in the bath. ...read more.

Conclusion

The fact that a number of academics deny the existence of the mind does not help matters either. We can begin to describe it in terms of the psychological and physiological phenomena experienced during hypnosis but not much more. We know that there is nothing mystical or magical about the hypnotic state. Put simply it is assisting someone to reach the state where the predominant brain waves are the alpha and theta waves and so access their subconscious mind where selective attention and increased suggestibility are present and then use this state to effect changes in the person through beneficial suggestions. We know that to achieve this state we can make use of PMR Albert Einstein said that we only use 10% of our brain. Maybe with hypnosis we are just beginning to push at a door that will lead us into the remaining 90%. History has given us glimpses of an amazing power that we don't yet understand. People undergoing major surgery with anaesthesia, curing debilitating physical conditions, amazing accounts of healing. What is hypnosis today? What could hypnosis be tomorrow? ...read more.

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